Lose That Last 5 Pounds… With Sleep

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Today’ s article is a guest post from Ameer Rosic.  Please be sure to check out his website!

My friends, we are living in a world of nocturnal nirvana. A never-ending perpetual storm. It throws you off course, whilst you despairingly clutch onto the pieces of turmoil it leaves in it’s tracks. The deadlines and everyday affairs wear away at your inner being, stripping a little bit more of you as each day goes by. You mark off the months on your calendar. And you call this life.

But sometimes it takes a different pair of lenses to realize; your life is deteriorating your health. Your busy schedules, your nine-to-fives, your late nights, are each individually responsible for your downhill spiral. And then you come to me scratching your heads about your perpetual storm, that you’ve created. The fatigue, the migraines, the bloating, and those stubborn last 5 pounds that you just can’t seem to lose. No matter how structured your diet seems to be. The more you poke and prod, the more you perfect this nutritious diet of yours, the more fruitless your fat loss journey becomes.

But most people get lost in the details of their journey, and miss the big picture. That it may be more than diet alone that factors into their fat loss equation. People are often thrown aback when I explain to them that their environment is a major contributor to their weight loss story. No matter what diet you are on, environment dictates the direction of your health. Sorry, Paleo folks. You are not exempt from this.

Health and nutritional advice from today’s experts is varied and conflicting. There are different camps on each end of the spectrum. From Paleo to Vegan, to the obscure ones, like Breatharians. But little emphasis is ever put on the importance and significance of your circadian sleep cycle. 

Your body, the very essence of your being, is controlled by a universal commonality known as the light dark cycle (circadian rhythm). This light /dark cycles controls every minute quantum mechanism within you. From the way your mitochondria functions to the very way your lipid bilayer transfers electrons around.

This ancient cycle also has an ancient pathway. A pathway long forgotten but now found. I am talking about the Leptin pathway. A forgotten hormone, but one making more and more headlines nowadays. You might have heard such controversial people like Dr. Kruse, as well as more public figures, like Dr. Ron Rosedale, talk about Leptin, and it’s cascading influence on the body, in great detail.

Leptin is a funny hormone, as it has a multi-factorial approach.  It is crucial for controlling your appetite, metabolism and immune system. But that’s just scratching the surface in terms of what Leptin does for you. If it’s so important in the regulatory mechanisms of the body, what in fact controls it? The answer is often overlooked by those trying to perfect their diets. Because, in this case, we have to look past food.

Here is the kicker lady’s and gentlemen: Leptin is strictly (Hello! Are you listening?) Strictly associated and controlled through your sleep cycle. DING… DING…  you catch that?

Sleeping patterns initiate hormonal functioning within the body, at the cellular level and beyond.

The science is here my friends. Just go on pub med and search it for yourselves. Wait. Hold on a second. I already did that for you. In one particular study, it bluntly stated:

“Participants with short sleep had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin. These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite, possibly explaining the increased BMI observed with short sleep duration. In Western societies, where chronic sleep restriction is common and food is widely available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with sleep curtailment may contribute to obesity.”

So what is really going here? How is your sleep affecting Leptin?

It’s very simple. Your circadian clock regulates your endocrine system and nervous system. When you go to bed at an appropriate time, around 10 p.m. (not midnight!), your parasympathetic system increases its activity for repair.

But, get this, when you go to bed late, it sends an ancient pathway signal to your body to activate your sympathetic state. Yes, also known as, the stress state. This begins to destroy the sympathovagal balance. You’re probably scratching your head right now, wondering what in the world “Sympathovagal” is.

Sympathovagal is the “Interaction between the sympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve.” (2)

With an elevated sympathetic system, at the expense of a lower parasympathetic one, your pancreas secretes insulin and then, wait for it, secretes… leptin from your fat cells. (3)

Repeat this process every day and you become leptin resistant. Your signaling towards hunger, via ghrelin, is no longer functioning adequately. Leptin no longer sends healthy signals to your brain to stop eating. What a vicious cycle!

Forget unnecessary dieting. Do you see how important sleep is to your health and to losing those last, extra 5 pounds that you are trying so hard to get rid of?

Okay, enough reading my friends. You know what to do now. Tonight, instead of chatting on Facebook and watching TV, you will go to bed at 10 p.m. and give your body the decent repair time it finally deserves.

Remember health is not black and white, but many colors of the rainbow.


Ameer Rosic is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and Functional Medicine practitioner. As a leading expert in nutrition, optimal-aging, methylation, fitness and wellness, Ameer is consulted worldwide and gives lectures, seminars and certification workshops around the world , he is your guide to living optimally.

Ameer is a physical culture practitioner with a background deeply rooted in Japanese Karate Shotokan, which earned him a black belt in 2001.

In 2012, Ameer won The Canadian Kettlebell Biathlon Championship and is the author of “The Kettlebell Advantage.”  And is currently finishing his second book titled “ Diagnostic testing and Functional Medicine.” His unique approach to fitness and wellness is now the feature of the TV Show, “Shape up with Ameer: Kettlebell Conditioning.” Helpful advice can also be found on “Optimal Health Show,” a feature on his youtube channel and his weekly Experts panel with top doctors

Ameer endorses and teaches the martial arts philosophy of life-balance and believes in the ancient teachings of Hippocrates: “Let Food be Thy Medicine.”

Respect your body, it’s your temple.



  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15531540
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535424/
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